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DCFS incorporates '8 Can’t Wait' policies for use of force against juveniles

Posted at 3:34 PM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-28 19:03:43-04

In light of recent high-profile incidents across the country, the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) has re-examined its use of force policies through the lens of minimizing potential harm to those who interact with the juvenile justice system.

Campaign Zero’s “8 Can’t Wait” project includes eight policies to make use of force more restrictive.

One of the policies does not apply to DCFS, and DCFS had already previously adopted some of the policies.

The policies of the 8 Can’t Wait project are:

- Banning chokeholds and strangleholds

- Requiring de-escalation

- Requiring warning before shooting

- Requiring exhausting all alternatives before shooting

- Duty to intervene

- Banning shooting at moving vehicles

- Requiring use of force continuum

- Requiring comprehensive reporting.

The policy to not shoot at a moving vehicle is not applicable to DCFS programs as staff do not carry firearms.

Banning chokeholds and strangleholds were previously adopted for DCFS residential facilities and newly adopted for youth parole and required de-escalation had already been implemented across the Division.

DCFS staff do not carry firearm, but trained staff at the facilities and in the Youth Parole Bureau do have access to OC spray, commonly known as pepper spray, which is addressed in the use of force policy and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

Warning before shooting and exhausting all other measures before shooting have been incorporated as a requirement for use of OC spray.

The updated policies for residential juvenile justice facilities and parole were adopted on July 24. Each facility and youth parole will now develop SOPs and train staff with the goal of full implementation by September 1.

As of July 14, DCFS has 155 youth in residential facilities and 297 youth on parole.